Sosa talks struggling

The Mets' pursuit of Sammy Sosa is floundering over concerns about the slugger's massive salary, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

A trade that would have sent Sosa to New York in exchange for outfielder Cliff Floyd has been discussed for weeks, as the Cubs have appeared determined to trade the most recognizable face on their club over the last decade.

The Mets have been the leading – and perhaps only – suitor for Sosa, but his contract comes with stunning baggage even if the MLB Players Association agrees to drop several booby-traps.

As currently constituted, Sosa would be guaranteed $18 million for the 2006 season the second he was traded, then presented a $19 million option for 2007 that would have to be bought out for $3.5 million.

The MLBPA is reported to be willing to help Sosa escape Chicago – if he wishes, as he still has to approve any trade – by dropping those triggers from the framework of his deal. It may help, as no team would trade for the 36-year-old slugger at this point knowing those snags were in place, but it still may not be enough for the Mets.

According to figures presented by the Daily News, even after all is said and done, a gap of roughly $4.5 million would still exist between Sosa's contract for 2005 and the money owed to Floyd, who has two years remaining on a four-year, $26 million contract.

This and that: Congratulations are in order for Mike Piazza, who recently got engaged. Piazza's agent, Dan Lozano, told the New York Post that Piazza would accept a trade under the right circumstances, but that he still expects to enter 2005 as the Mets' catcher.

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